2013 is set to become a very exciting year for Disaster Tech Lab. Only 6 months after it was started as a subsidiary of Haiti Connect it has grown so rapidly that as of a few days ago “Disaster Tech Lab” has become the main organisation. At the end of last year we had a very succesful deployment in NYC following superstorm Sandy. We assisted the various NGOs, “informal volunteer organisations” and government aid agencies in their work providing IP based networking services were needed. During this deployment we strengthened bonds with existing partner organisations and forged new ones with organisations we hadn’t worked with before. The deployment also served as proof that as an organisation our approach was working and our services are needed. Disaster Communication service provide the bonds which allows the numerous aid organisations to work together better. This deployment seems to have caused our development to switch to a higher gear and 2013 is already shaping up to be a very exciting year. Some of the things lined up for the next few months are:
- Following out of our work in NYC we have been invited to join the FEMA Innovation Team. Fema’s innovation team is a new informal working group made up out of members of Fema and private sector organisations and individuals working the disaster response field. It serves as a think-tank allowing the sharing of ideas and experiences with as goal to improve future disaster response efforts.
- We’ve also been invited to participate in a Fema think-tank session at the White House in early February.
- We’ve also been “encouraged” to participate in the JIFX/RELIEF event in Camp Roberts California from February 11th – 14th.
- We also plan to release the first version of our disaster -data & comms web portal late in Q1 2013. This has been in development for the last 6 months and is nearing completion.
- Also in the pipeline is a full overhaul of our web & social media presence incorporating a new website and more streamlined interaction through the various social media channels.
- 501(c)3 status: we are also working towards achieving 501(c)3 status in the USA. This will make it much easier for us to operate in the USA and will make it more attractive for donors to support us.
As you can imagine this is a significant step forward for us and will require a lot of behind the scenes work. We will need to increase our fund-raising as well as organise a new volunteer recruitment campaign. Without support from individuals, organisations and companies we would not be able to carry out our work. If you are interested in supporting us you can do so here.